Round 12 of the Chicken Treat Margaret River Big Bash saw a couple of nail-biter finishes on Wednesday and Thursday, and then a bit of batting mastery on Friday night with the season’s highest individual score being posted by a Madman. In the same game, we saw the best individual bowling figures of the season also posted by a Madman. To date this season, there have been 902 boundaries recorded; 6 niners from 6 different players, 158 sixes with the young Morkles player ‘Tickets’ Brewer, hitting the most sixes with 14 and 738 fours have reached the boundary.
GAME 34: Wednesday’s game was game of the year; first place versus second and some of the big names on display: Holmsey, Blackie, Nobbsy, Tractor, Telstra, Nummy, Ozzy, Forey, Garsty, Iddsy and a pair of Tinnies.
It was bloody windy when the Finbats strode to the crease first. Blackie and Nobbsy did it again putting on 40 odd runs in a partnership, Paps after being out on his first ball (which is not-out) hit 3 six's on his way to 22. By Finbats standards this was a big failure, a team that has scored at an average of 161 runs per game were all out for 122. Six of the Warriors bowlers picked off wickets, Iddsy picked up two, Hazza and Jamie Whol' both snared 1 wicket for half a dozen runs from their two overs each. Willow Warriors only had a target of 123 and with top teams and top batsmen come top bowlers. Tinny and Garsty got the Warriors off to a great start when both retired on 27 runs at the top of the order then Bobcat chipped in with 17. After 13 overs they were 1/90 and cruising, then WHACK. The Finbats’ bowling machine of Blackie, Nobbsy, Tractor et al, cranked up a notch and took 7 wickets in 6 overs and the Warriors needed 4 off the last over with 2 wickets left. A first ball single and then a second ball runout when Ozzy went for a second run had everybody on their feet and now 2 runs were needed off 4 balls with the last men in. A single tied the game, then a wide would lose the game, another wide, a dot ball and then a single. Warriors scraped home by just 3 runs in the end in a classic game of cricket.
GAME 35: Thursday’s game was held in bitterly cold conditions - what happened to the beautiful sunsets in the park we had been having all season?! The Morkles were up against the Big Show who need a win to get back into the top four. The Morkles had a bash first and ‘Tickets Brewer’ stole the show, hitting six 6 and a couple of 4s on his way to 48. His 13 ball innings was at a strike rate of 369, the second fastest and equal highest total by a T20 player this season. Brenno put together 16 at his normal 100 s/r and the Big-Terk made a stubbornly defensive 21 not out from 33 balls to help the Morkles limp to a 129 run total. The Big Show had 9 bowlers pick up wickets with Old Stewie's fully flighted hand grenades picking up 2. The Big Show went about their 6.50 runs per over chase in slow motion with Jarvo, Johno and Brooko all retiring after passing 25 runs each at about a run a ball strike rates. Runs were slowly ticking over at the required run rate and with four overs to go it looked like they could fall short of runs with only 2 batsman out. Scareface Tognolini chipped in with 13 before the old calf gave way and he retired hurt. Then the old firm of Baker and Stewart (combined ages around 114) made the last few runs needed and the Big Show jumped back into the top 4. It was a 9 run win in the end and the Morkles’ improvement continued from where they left off last week.
GAME 36: Friday night under lights was played in drizzly, cold and blustery conditions. Both Madness and the cellar-dweller Bashers were keen to push for a result and not have a washed-out draw. Madness would go into bat first and were in shock when The Bashers (who are yet to win a game) had premiership favourites Madness in trouble at 6 wickets down for 77 runs after 10 overs. The Madmen came to life, belting 130 in the second 10 overs. Menni made a quick-fire 20, Gribbo came back in at the end after an early retirement to make 42 not out. The star of this innings with the second highest score in the nine year history of MR T20 cricket with 63 not out: three 6s, five 4s, and just 24 balls faced was Lukey Godrich playing in just his second game of the season. Madness posted a 207 total for the Bashers to chase. Rowdy picked himself up 3 wickets and Old-Col also got two wickets but the Bashers chased a lot of leather.
Bashers were never going to get 208, but set a target to bat out 20 overs and not be rolled. Captain Brad Fergo retired with 25 runs from 20 balls and Mark continued on with another 21 not out. Middsy had his moment in the spotlight with 11no from 24 balls. Bashers lost 5 wickets, batted 20 overs and fell just a couple of runs short of 100. Paul Berry, the leading keeping bowler in the comp, took an amazing 3 wickets for 0 from his 2 overs. Rhino and Lukey both picked up 1/5 for a 107 run victory for Madness.
THIS WEEK’S GAMES
With just two rounds left before finals week, five teams are still in the battle for the final four positions on the Kitchen Formations Ladder. The Bushchooks and The Big Show will meet next week in the final round which could determine which of these two teams play finals.
Wednesday: Morkles Vs Madness
Thursday (Game of the Week): Finbats Vs Big Show
Friday: Bushchooks Vs Willow Warriors.
All games start at 4.45pm at Gloucester Park and are completed by 7.15pm.